Carthy lists priority to ‘tackle stranglehold’ on sector

Deputy Matt Carthy said that he is “proud and honoured” to have been appointed Sinn Féin agriculture spokesperson – and outlined the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and “tackling the stranglehold” on the beef industry as his priorities.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said that he will strive to bring constructive and radical proposals that would support family farmers and deliver ‘fair prices, a fair CAP and fair play’.

Speaking following his appointment, deputy Carthy said: “I am proud and honoured to be appointed to the Sinn Féin frontbench by our party president Mary Lou McDonald.

“I commend my predecessor deputy Brian Stanley and hope that I can emulate his commitment to Irish farming and our rural communities.

My previous role as a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development committee will serve me well, particularly as we approach the business end of a new CAP, which will be a defining point in determining whether there is a sustainable future for Irish family farming.

The TD said he will work with the government and support any initiatives aimed at supporting Irish farming families and rural communities, adding that he will “strongly challenge those policies that don’t”.

“The core of Sinn Féin’s farm policies can be summarised as the pursuit of the three Fs – a fair price for produce, a fair CAP system that works that distributes funds to those who need and deserve them, and fair play for farmers and rural communities, including in their dealings with the Department of Agriculture and statutory agencies.

Describing the family farm as “the bedrock of our rural communities”, deputy Carthy added:

I intend to produce constructive proposals that can tackle the stranglehold of the processors and retailers so to ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their product.

“I will encourage government to fight to protect the CAP budget and ensure a fairer distribution of funds away from the large corporates to deliver greater payments to the majority of family farms.

“Sinn Féin will oppose trade deals such as Mercosur and we will work for a Just Transition to protect farmers.

“I look forward to working with, and holding to account, the Minister and Department of Agriculture and Marine in the time ahead,” deputy Carthy concluded.